SAB Biotherapeutics expands operations in South Dakota

80-acre pharm under construction in Lincoln County


Sioux Falls, SD, August 29, 2017 SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today they are expanding operations in South Dakota with the construction of an 80-acre pharm underway in Lincoln County near Canton.


SAB, founded in 2014, develops human antibody therapeutics using its first-of-its-kind immunotherapy platform leveraging transgenic cattle (TcBovine™). The TcBovine have been genetically designed to produce large amounts of human polyclonal antibodies (immunoglobulin G) in response to a target disease. The company’s first two treatments are in clinical trials, with other infectious disease, oncology and autoimmune targets in development.

“We’re excited to grow our operations in South Dakota,” said Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D., president and CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics. “This pharm will enable us to expand our capabilities, our herd and our team to continue to develop and produce life-saving immunotherapies.”


The 80-acre pharm, an agricultural-based production unit whose output is biologicals for the benefit of human health, is the first facility of its kind designed specifically for cattle.

“This is a highly-specialized biosecure cattle facility designed to harvest plasma to be used for the production of human biopharmaceuticals,” said Todd Stahl, executive director – animal management for SAB Biotherapeutics, who will oversee the pharm operations.


To produce the therapeutic, the cattle are vaccinated against a disease target. Within a brief period of time, they produce significant amounts of fully human antibodies, the proteins that naturally fight disease in our bodies. Plasma is then collected (in the same manner as humans) and purified in the company’s biomanufacturing facility to isolate the antibodies. This then becomes the therapeutic treatment.


Animal antibodies have been made in rabbits, sheep, and horses for use in humans. However, SAB’s platform is the first to produce fully human antibodies in large animals.


Phase I of the project includes a four-building complex with a total footprint of approximately 40,000 sq. ft. and five full-time employees caring for 40 animals. Phase 2, is planned over a number of years, and includes 10 buildings with more than 100,000 sq. ft., approximately 40 employees and 500 animals at full capacity.


“The buildings will be used for birthing and housing our TcBovine with areas specifically designed for plasma collection, research, veterinary care, feed and equipment storage and offices,” added Stahl.


Prior to their move to Lincoln County, SAB’s herd of transgenic cattle has been housed at Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center, Iowa and the related services out-sourced to their team.

“As we continue to expand our operations to produce antibodies for additional disease targets, moving the cattle closer to the laboratory has become a top priority,” added Sullivan. “We’ve appreciated our relationship with Trans Ova–but the proximity of our animals and our own team to the lab, production facility and headquarters will improve efficiency and streamline operations while laying an important foundation for more rapid and expansive growth.”


Construction on the first production building began August 23. Completion of the first two buildings is expected by the end of the year, with the remainder of Phase 1 completed spring of 2018. 



The general contractor is Canton-based Hoogendoorn Construction, Inc., with services provided by ProAg Engineering Inc. of Jackson, Minnesota and VanDeWalle Architects LLC of Sioux Falls.


“We are thrilled to see SAB Biotherapeutics, an emerging global biotech leader, growing here in South Dakota,” said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. “If they succeed, we succeed – in creating jobs, building the economy, putting the Midwest bioscience industry on the map and, ultimately, developing life-saving treatments.”


The site northwest of Canton was purchased in July by Dakota Ag Properties, of which SAB is a partner, from the Abbott trust and facilitated through the Canton Economic Development Corporation.


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About SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.
SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAB) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leading the science and manufacturing of antibody therapeutics. Utilizing some of the most advanced polyclonal antibody science in the world, SAB is delivering the world’s first large-scale platform to create fully human immunoglobulins.
This natural production platform holds the potential for treatment of public health problems, rare conditions, long-term diseases and global pandemic threats.


Media contact:  Melissa Ullerich, +1 605.695.8350 /

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